Charles Sherlock Fillmore (August 22, 1854 – July 5, 1948), born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, with his wife, Myrtle Page Fillmore, in 1889. He became known as an American mystic for his contributions to metaphysical interpretations of Biblical scripture. He married Myrtle in Clinton, Missouri on March 29, 1881 and the newlyweds moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where Charles established a real estate business with the brother-in-law of Nona Lovell Brooks, who was later to found the Church of Divine Science. In his later years, Fillmore felt so young that he thought that he might be physically immortal, as well as believing that he might be the reincarnation of Paul of Tarsus. Charles Fillmore was an ethical vegetarian who did not eat animal flesh.
Myrtle Fillmore died in 1931. Charles remarried in 1933 to Cora G. Dedrick who was a collaborator on his later writings. Charles Fillmore died in 1948, and the Unity School and Association of Unity Churches (founded as the Unity Ministers Association in 1934) continued, growing into a worldwide movement.
The Unity Church is rooted in the concepts of metaphysical or “divine” healing. Unity is considered a cult because of their beliefs and teachings that deviate significantly from the biblical truth about God, Jesus, Bible, sin and salvation. Heavily influenced by many other religions, Unity attempts to incorporate the preferred parts of all religions, cults, and beliefs. It’s by definition, a pick and mix religion not much different from any other new age cult. Additionally, it has many similarities with other cults arising in the mid-19th century such as Christian Science, although the teachings differ at various points.
The core Unity beliefs that make it a cult include (my comments below begin with GP):
UC: God is a principle, not a personal God, and the “force” of love in all people and things.
GP: This is a classic signature of a cult, the depersonalisation of God. It’s interesting the Fillmore makes such claims without offering any explanation to back up his principals. It’s not then surprising then to find the gaping hole he has left with the Bibles clear definition of God.
The Bible speaks of Him as the living God.
“By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites” (Joshua 3:10).
As a youth, David realized that the giant Goliath was defying “the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26).
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light (Psalms 36:9).
But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King (Jeremiah 10:10).
UC: Jesus the man represents the path toward a higher consciousness.
GP: No surprise there then.Fillmore, in order to inject his beliefs from a worldly, human view he must first humanise Jesus Christ. In this case he was made Jesus a symbol, a representation of a desired outcome and stripped away any reference as to the true reason of his existence. This is blasphemy, Jesus said ” Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Rather than acknowledging salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, they turn this into self enlightenment (higher consciousness). This is the oldest lie in the Bible and millions are falling for even today “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. ” Genesis 3:5.
UC: Jesus the Christ is the universal love and wisdom within all of us – the perfection of consciousness – independent of religious beliefs.
GP: Another blatant contradiction. If you remove Jesus or change him then what was the point of his sacrifice for humanity? Fillmore clearly does not accept that Jesus Christ of the Bible and therefore makes up their own one to fit their needs.
UC: The Bible is not the inerrant Word of God nor the final authority.
GP: Fillmore denies the Bible as the final word of God, so does Islam, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons etc.
UC: The fall of man is spiritual amnesia from his evolution toward the divine correctable by changing thought patterns from negative to positive thoughts, which is the process of salvation.
GP: This is veiled Hinduism, the ignorance of one owns divinity and the Karmic cycle which is highly incompatible with the Word of God.
UC: There is no literal heaven or hell, but the heaven or hell created by a person’s thoughts, words, and actions.
GP: Everyone will exist eternally either in heaven or hell (Daniel 12:2,3; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28; Revelation 20:14,15).
UC: Reincarnation is the means by which believers are regenerated for eternity.
GP: This a denial of judgement for those outside of Jesus Christ. Fillmore is saying for those that follow him and his doctrine, they will receive eternal life. So not only has he replaced Jesus, he has become the replacement Jesus.
In conclusion, Fillmore has discarded the fundamental Christian beliefs in exchange for a new gospel. Galatians 1:6-9 (King James Version (KJV)).